Ads for Mother's Day gifts litter the internet. Jewelry and flowers seem to top the must-gives, but these are not the types of things I want for Mother's Day.
For Mother's Day, I would like to give all the mothers of the world a hug and let them know that they are enough. That they don't have to be super-mom, don't need to be perfect - that they only need to love their kids, because in the end it's the love that makes the biggest impact. It is the love that's remembered, the love that's passed on to the next generation.
I want all mothers to feel valued and cared for and loved and to be recognized for the hard work that is mothering. More than that, I want them to embrace their value and fully feel their worth. Mothers do the most important work - they nourish bodies, minds and spirits, giving them deep roots so they may grow and flourish.
I want those who mourn their mothers to take some time to celebrate them and reflect on some of the things their moms brought to their lives that they would like to bring to others' lives. And then incorporate those wonderful things into your own life. I want those of us who will be celebrating with our moms to do the same.
And those not able to celebrate with mom to call your mother. Now. I'll wait.
This Mother's Day, I want to celebrate my Mom. Throughout my thirty-eight years, my Mom has taught me many things. Here are a scant few of the gems of motherly knowledge she's imparted to me:
Be involved, interested, and invested. From elementary school library mom to youth symphony board member to high school band parent, she was always involved in my activities and my education. But not only was she involved, but she was also interested and invested in all the activities. I witnessed a huge difference between my friends' parents who were doing things because they felt obligated to, and my parents, who were involved because they were truly interested and invested .
Take alone time, even if your children find it excruciating. As a child, I was not good at giving my mom alone time. That she would be doing something without me - doing I-didn't-even-know-what - was torturous to my young mind. This is probably why my first couple days of nursery school were a breeze, and the following I-don't-know-how-long was not - I had discovered that my Mom did stuff while I was gone. Without me. Later in my childhood she'd locked the door to the third floor of our house to get some quiet time. I couldn't fathom why she'd need time away from us lovely children, but now, as mama to five, I completely understand, and fully appreciate the wisdom of my Mom's example.
Trust your children. This is the thing I value most about my mom - she trusted me. She not only trusted me to do the right thing, but she trusted me to make mistakes and learn from them. And I made some doozies (sorry, Mom!). She offered great amounts of help when I really needed it, and very little criticism, even during my very rough late-teens and early twenties.
My mom taught me love. Not just a mother's love for her children or a wife's love for her husband, but a love of others - of everyone. She truly loves her friends, and it shows in her interactions with them. It shows in the way her face lights up when she speaks of them and in the things she has to say about them when they're not in her presence. She has "adopted" several children - from foreign exchange students who lived with us for a couple high school semesters and with whom she continues to keep in contact, to my best friend, who is an expected part of all family festivities. And she taught me God's love - not through forcing me to go to CCD classes in my youth, but through the way she treats others, the way she followed her heart to a new church and new growth in faith, and through her encouragement of me to "come and see."
She still trusts me, and helps me, and cheers me on, is involved without overstepping her bounds, and even helps me out with time alone by offering her house, my childhood home, as a place of refuge from time to time - or by taking all five of my kids overnight. She continues to love me and those around her and to live a wonderful example of faith. I love you, Mom!